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Forbes Travel Guide names Five-Star properties

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January 23, 2014

Forbes Travel Guide names Five-Star properties

Hospitality News: Mandarin Oriental, San FranciscoForbes Travel Guide has added 36 hotels, restaurants and spas to its exclusive list of Five-Star properties.

Among them are 15 hotels, bringing the total number of Five-Star hotels to 97 worldwide, the most in its history.

A number of the hotels on the list are newly-opened or recently renovated, which Forbes Travel Guide President Michael Cascone says is proof of an uptick in investment in the luxury hotel industry.

“In other words, the capital is flowing back into this segment,” Cascone says. “The outlook remains strong for this segment.”

Luxury hotels suffered the most during the recession. Many projects came to a halt, as occupancy levels and average daily rates dropped.

Still, through November of last year, 75.4% of luxury hotel rooms were filled, while the average daily rate was $287.94, according to STR. In 2009, at the height of the economic downturn, 63.7% of luxury hotel rooms were occupied with an average daily rate of $243.98.

Forbes Travel Guide has been handing out stars since 1958. A team of inspectors anonymously evaluates properties against about 800 standards, the company says.

Cascone says those include such factors as d?cor and cleanliness. But most importantly, it’s about consistently top-notch service, he says.

“It’s first and foremost service,” he says. “That consistency is what we look for, and that’s what ultimately the best of the best end up doing.”

The newly renovated Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco and The Pierre New York, A Taj Hotel earned Five Stars.

The recently constructed St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto and Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto also earned Five-Star ratings.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts had a strong showing. It’s the brand with the most Five-Star properties this year, with a total of 18 hotels in 11 destinations. The company has tripled its number of honored hotels in the past decade.

California has the most Five-Star hotels of any U.S. state with 17. That includes four additions this year: El Encanto in Santa Barbara, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa near San Diego, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills and Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco.

Montana got its first Five-Star hotel with The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg.

Outside of the U.S., Shanghai doubled the number of Five-Star hotels to four. That brings China’s total number of Five-Star hotels to 19.

Click here to read more.

Source USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/story/dispatches/2014/01/22/forbes-travel-guide-five-stars/4751613/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UsatodayTravel-Hotels+%28USATODAY+-+Hotels+Top+Stories%29

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